On July 6, HRH the Duke of Kent officially opened MTL Group’s state-of-the-art facility in Rotherham, Yorkshire, in the UK. The new 30,000-square-meter facility is located on a 13-hectare site and houses some of the most modern and state-of-the-art steel processing equipment in the UK, and in the world.
MTL Group was founded in 1995 specializing in contract manufacturing for the metals sector. It offers a range of products from high volume fabrications to large offshore welded structures weighing several hundred tons. It also supplies cut, pressed and machined parts to OEMs. Customers include major OEMs in the construction, quarrying, defence, renewable energy, rail and recycling industries, spread across 30 countries worldwide.
Since a successful management buy-out in 2006, sales of MTL Group’s top-quality steel components have tripled to £50 million; the company now employs 330 people and exports have rocketed to 22% in 2011.
SSAB is MTL Group’s largest supplier, a relationship that goes back to 1996. Together the two companies have conducted joint projects and MTL Group uses Hardox, Weldox, Domex and Armox in its applications. "SSAB’s products and quality are the best on the market. Part of our success has been due to our state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and using the best steel products in the world from SSAB," says Karl Stewart, Sales Director.
MTL Group’s £12 million investment in its new site includes £7 million in new equipment. "We now have some of the best equipment in the industry which gives us a clear competitive edge," Stewart says. This includes a robotic bending machine – a 7.3-meter, 640-ton bending machine combined with a robot, which can lift up to 600 kilograms in weight. "The manufacturers told us that this is the largest robot press brake installation of its kind in the world; it is quicker, safer and more effective than traditional methods of bending steel," says Stewart.
In addition, the new site houses eleven cutting machines including the largest water jet cutting machine in the UK, a laser with a capability that can cut and weld prep/bevel components up to 20 meters by 3.5 meters. There is also a twin head hi-definition plasma machine that can cut parts up to 25 meters by 5 meters. "We are able to machine steels up to 600 brinell hardness," adds Stewart.
This ambitious company is set for further expansion in the future. "We have gained many years’ experience working with SSAB products and we are now able to offer a ‘Design For Manufacture’ service that helps reduce customer costs and improves the structural integrity of their products," says Stewart.
"We’re currently only using 60% of our new facility so the plan is to scale this up to 100%. This future growth is expected to come primarily from the construction, renewable energy and defence industries."